Iran, Afghanistan to link rail networks by March 2021

Iran’s Deputy Minister of Transport and Urban Development for Construction and Development of Railways, Ports and Airports said that Iran and Afghanistan’s rail networks will be connected in near future, Mehr News Agency reported.

According to Abbas Khatibi, the 139-Kilometer Khaf-Herat railway project which connects the rail networks of the two countries will come on stream by the end of the next Iranian calendar year (March 2021).

Connection of rail network of the country to neighboring countries is one of the main policies of the Ministry of Transport and Urban Development, the issue of which has been put atop agenda of the ministry, Khatibi said.

He pointed to some of the ministry’s prioritized projects and added, “up to the present time, five rail projects have been put into operation in the country.”

Efforts are underway to put the Bostanabad-Khavaran railroad in Tabriz, East Azarbaijan Province, into operation before the end of the next year, he emphasized.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the deputy minister of transport pointed to the Rasht-Astara Railway project and said, “Effective and constructive talks have been made in this regard in line with completing construction operation of this giant project.”

He also revealed the development of rail lines of the country towards Eurasia and added, “In the construction of railway projects, technical specifications are taken into consideration, so that the trains are transited and exited from the country in the appropriate time.”

Khaf-Herat is part of Iran-Afghanistan rail corridor. The project, started in the fiscal year of 2007-2008, connects Iran’s eastern city of Khaf to Afghanistan’s western city of Ghoryan.

Although the Afghan side of the project has not yet been implemented, Sputnik announced in August that Afghanistan has been in talks with Italian companies to build the fourth section of the railway, and Afghans appear to be more determined to commence their part of the project this year.

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